THERMOPOLIS, Wyo. (AP) — Officials in Hot Springs County are moving ahead with plans to build what would be the first new airport in Wyoming in more than eight years.

An oil company built the existing airport near Thermopolis in the 1950s. The 4,800-foot runway is too short and steep to meet modern aviation needs.

The Billings Gazette also reports (http://bit.ly/HK8C1h) that the safety zones around the runway that are required by the Federal Aviation Administration are inadequate.

Hot Springs County Commissioner Brad Basse says the new runway will be 6,370 feet and could be expanded after that to 7,700 feet.

He says there are no plans to open the airport to commercial aviation following the $20 million project but the new airport will be suitable for most general aviation aircraft.